The Bad News (always the bad news first): Media outlets across the nation reported last week that the water supply of a little town in Lincoln County was contaminated by THC.
The Good News: You’re going to get my tincture recipe.
Hugo, Colorado, 80821.
Y’all need to get a grip. I understand that it’s a cannabis-dry county out there, but when it comes to a situation like this, especially when the decision is made to go public with the July 20 “news,” please refer to a certain method of thinking: (1) It’s not new; (2) It has been around for several hundred years at this point and (3) It is responsible for basically everything we recognize as modern in this world of ours: Science. You should check it out.
After town officials put this information on the wire along with a public health advisory warning residents not to ingest or shower in the supposedly tainted water, I turned to the Missus and exclaimed, “Something’s fishy here.”
No, that’s a lie. Upon reading the story on my phone, I turned to her, took the name of the Lord in vain, dropped an F-bomb and muttered for a good minute straight about being exposed to another round of a word the begins with a B and wraps up with S-H-I-T.
You see, THC is not water soluble.
That’s not rocket science, just plain ol’ middle school regular-not-even-honors-class-level science. I don’t care if you’re in favor of or opposed to cannabis, whether you’re progressive, liberal or conservative, tall, short, pink, purple, whatever – but, can we please deal in reality? After decades of prohibition guided by the propaganda and willful ignorance of scientific facts as they relate to this plant by the Aslingers and Nixons of the world, we all deserve better.
Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the psychoactive chemical compound in marijuana can be extracted using a variety of solvents, but water is not among them. There are laboratory chemicals and processes that can be used to create very powerful extracts, but for us regular folks desirous of creating cannabis concoctions in our kitchens, fats – butter, oils and the like – and alcohol are the ticket.
Into this mix, I introduce vegetable glycerin (available online and at most health food stores), a sweet, viscous liquid that interacts with THC’s fat-soluble nature and can be used to produce a real treat, a cannabis tincture that might as well be called Happy Juice.
As a cook, I have yet to find a recipe that I can’t read, ignore or find my own way through, and my tincture process is no different. Here’s what you’ll need:
Cannabis, very well ground
Blackberry brandy (which will work to draw more THC from the plant material)
Water (this helps the process along with no active effect on the outcome)
1 can Mountain Dew Throwback (for flavor)
DirectionsThe important basics involve pouring four parts glycerin into a pan and “filling” the liquid with enough ground herb to make a gooey paste-like texture.
Add about one part brandy (the alcohol will be boiled off).
Add roughly five parts water to create an environment where the mixture can be brought up to a boil and then brought down to a nice simmer to cook for anywhere from one to three hours, adding water as needed to keep things from getting too sticky in the pan, stirring regularly and maintaining the simmer.
Strain the liquid, removing the plant material and return the liquid to the pan.
Add the can of soda, then boil the liquid back down to the original volume of the glycerin from the beginning.
Voila: Glycerin tincture! Start with a tablespoon’s worth. I love the stuff because it combines the body high of edibles with the head high of smoking while leaving you perfectly clearheaded – sunshine in a spoon. It’s a great use of surplus bud and you can also use trim after a harvest; you’ll just use more plant material by repeating the straining step three or so times, replacing the used product with fresh trim. While science has proved that there’s no such thing as “weed water,” glycerin tincture is the perfect method of administration to sit back this weekend and chuckle over Hugo’s folly.
Christopher Gallagher lives with his wife and their four dogs and two horses. Life is pretty darn good. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org